A backpack is the ideal companion for both long and short trips: either as the only piece of luggage or as a useful addition to the rest of your luggage. Unlike a suitcase, this doesn’t have to be dragged behind you and handed in at the flight counter; instead, it is simply carried on your shoulders and can even be stowed in your carry-on bag – provided it meets the standard. This may vary depending on the airline. For this reason, we will explain the most important basic rules and give you valuable tips on what you should pay attention to when buying a hand luggage backpack.

There is no question that a backpack needs to sit comfortably on your back so that you can carry it fully loaded and pain-free for a longer period of time. Carrying comfort is also supported by padded shoulder and lap straps that distribute the weight evenly. However, this is not the only criterion you should pay attention to. The most important include:

1. Osprey Farpoint 40

With a capacity of 40 liters, the Osprey Farpoint 40 is a popular carry-on backpack among backpackers. It weighs 1440 grams and has many practical functions, such as a large main compartment, an outer compartment (with two compartments) and two mesh compartments as well as a removable shoulder strap. Due to its high-quality workmanship, it is – according to the manufacturer – particularly durable and stable. The back as well as the shoulder and lap straps are padded, which guarantees a high level of comfort. It comes in different colors and different sizes: S/M and M/L.

2. Inateck

The rectangular travel backpack from Inateck has external dimensions of 55 x 34 x 20 cm and therefore fits easily into the hand luggage compartment. It has two large main compartments, two compartments in which a laptop or tablet and small items can be stored, two money compartments, a compartment for toiletries and other additional compartments. In addition to the two handles, which are intended to increase carrying comfort, the backpack comes with a shoulder strap so that you can also carry it over your shoulder. With a capacity of 40 liters, this model is more suitable for short business trips as well as backpacker trips.

3. Tatonka

The Tatonka brand is also known for its high-quality backpacks: The “Flightcase” model also holds 40 liters and fits in any hand luggage compartment. Like its predecessors, the main compartment can be opened completely to make packing easier. It has an external compartment in which a laptop can be stored and an internal mesh pocket. The integrated carrying handles (horizontal and vertical) are intended to increase carrying comfort, the same applies to the adjustable carrying strap. According to the manufacturer, the hand luggage backpack comes from a fair, social and transparent production by Tatonka.

4. Lowe Alpine

Bringing up the rear is the carry-on backpack from Lowe Alpine. With a dead weight of one kilogram, the model is still lightweight and still holds 36 liters, so there is enough space for your things. Thanks to its optimal dimensions (55 x 33 x 23 centimeters), the backpack is suitable for airplane travel and offers sufficient comfort for backpackers thanks to the carrying handle, stowable carrying strap and adjustable neck/shoulder strap. But the hand luggage backpack is also an ideal companion for short business trips or small road trips if you want to travel by plane and don’t need a lot of luggage.

How big or heavy a hand luggage backpack can be always depends on the airline in question. There is no uniform regulation here. On Wikipedia, for example, there is a small overview of the most famous airlines, which shows the most important dimensions (and the maximum weight). Alternatively, you can also ask your airline directly what is allowed – and what is not. Usually these rules apply for most providers:

Quantity: You can take a large piece of hand luggage on board, such as a backpack, which can be stored in the overhead compartment, as well as a small handbag or laptop bag (alternatively, a small backpack is also possible) – but this should fit in the footwell. Ideally, when booking, pay attention to what rules your airline has in place so that you don’t have to pay anything extra.

Dimensions: How big a hand luggage backpack can be is also individual. It’s best to travel with it if your luggage meets these dimensions: 50 x 35 x 20 centimeters. Please remember that handles and outer pockets as well as wheels (on the trolley) always have to be measured. The maximum weight can vary between five and twelve kilograms.

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